Appealing a case requires different skills than preparing for a trial. On appeal, the court does not hear new evidence but looks only at the facts that were presented to the trial court. It decides the case based on the established facts guided by written briefs and sometimes a short oral argument.
It is therefore critical that your appellate attorney be an excellent writer and a strong logical thinker. You need an appellate lawyer who can carefully examine the established factual record, determine which legal theories are supported by those facts, and present those theories in a clearly written brief. Finally, you need an attorney who understands the possibilities and limitations of the appellate process and who has a working knowledge of the rules of appellate procedure.
Appeals are my principal practice area, and have been a major part of my practice throughout my career. I have litigated appeals in both state and federal court on topics ranging from family law and commercial torts to criminal and habeas corpus to free speech and election law. Besides basic appeals I have also been involved with relatively unusual procedures such as en banc rehearing, petitions for certiorari, injunctions pending appeal, and petitions for appellate attorneys fees. I excel at writing and logical analysis – two critical skills for appellate advocacy. Even in trial court litigation I have usually been either a briefing specialist or focused on practice areas that rely heavily upon written briefs.